Reviews: Steel Battalion
Awesomely Realistic Disappoingly Limited
Steel Battalion is sort of a...mixed package. To say the least, and when you look at the price tag, you'll probably think to yourself "Is this really worth it?" Well. That's gunna depend on where you find your source of entertainment in a video game. The game is sometimes considered less of a "Game" and more of a "Simulator" the game comes with two custom controllers, one is a huge control PANEL described in the Page, the other is a 3 foot pedal block. This is where most of the excitement of the game comes from, the thrill of not just playing the game, but actually FEELING like you are IN the giant robot you are piloting, the view screen is incredibly detailed and realistic, like this machine actually exists. Figuring out how to drive the mech is, in of itself, part of the game. So the basic plot of the story is nothing really new, enemy declares war on your country, you sign up, hapless new recruit falls into the cockpit of the military's newest weapon, drives back the enemy attacking your base, go to the enemy and kick some ass. Most of the story is dealt with "In the backround" political developments, notworthy events, pretty much everything is explained in mission briefings. Your only job is to blow up enemies. And this is where you realize Steel Battalion begins to let down your expectations, there are VERY few cut scenes, which are all short (If not well done). And your influence over the events in the game feels...lacking, even though you shape major events through battle. In fact, you are both nameless and voiceless, except when using the radio to call for backup. And most of your missions are fairly devoid of thought process, just blowing up enemies, in fact, half of all the mission maps are just recycled with new objectives, even if they are expansive. This is also compacted by the poor detail in graphic elements, like buildings exploding, the environments themselves are actually quite nice. Not to mention, your allies are painfully dumb, and can barely navigate the map, making them useful only in the sense of cannon fodder. The lack of storytelling was really a huge let down personally, without a story this game can't go beyond what it is, just a home entertainment system. In the end, the defining point of this game, is the experience of simply playing it, so much so it can be enough to forget the flaws and let lose.